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An Antidote to the Vitriol in Public Discourse

Practicing Good Rhetoric

March 2, 2023 (The Boston Globe ) – In this intriguing article, Stephanie Byttebier, a professor of rhetoric at Boston University who does research on the benefits of service learning, shares her experience as a judge and observer of the Boston Debate League:

It’s early on a Saturday morning, and I’ve been listening intently to a back-and-forth on whether the US government should increase its cooperation with NATO in the area of cybersecurity. The conversation has drifted from increased threats to civilian infrastructure by countries like Russia to NATO’s collaborative strategy in addressing cyber risk. Frankly, I’m struggling to keep up with the onslaught of arguments and evidence, but I know I owe it to the students in front of me to step up my listening game. I’m a college professor of rhetoric and supposedly skilled at this; the debaters are 12 years old and novices at a Boston Debate League (BDL) tournament.

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